the appetizer:

Dulce: Desserts in the Latin-American Tradition by Joseluis Flores with Laura Zimmerman Maye, includes recipes like Liquid Chocolate Croquettes Croquetas de Chocolate Liquido; Mango Catalonian Crème Brûlée Crema Catalana de Mango; and Peruvian Sweet Potato and Pumpkin Fritters with Spiced Syrup Picarones con Miel de Especias.


Mango Catalonian Crème Brûlée
Crema Catalana de Mango

Catalonian Creme Brulee

Serves 8


This variation of crema catalana is a great summer dessert—it's like eating a sweet, fresh mango bathed in a crisp sugar coating. The rich mango flavor is delicious unadulterated, but if you'd like a creative garnish, try slivers of crystallized ginger and few fresh berries.


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine the mango puree and 3/4 cup (150 grams) sugar and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 40 minutes, or until reduced by half. The result will be a thicker mango puree. Remove from the heat and let cool.

In a clean medium saucepan over high heat, bring the cream and milk to a boil, whisking constantly, being careful not to burn. Remove from the heat and chill in the refrigerator until completely cool, about 30 minutes.

In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks on high speed with an electric mixer for about 15 minutes, until pale and thick. When you lift the beater out of the batter, it should flow from it in a smooth, even ribbon. Turn the mixer down to low, and slowly pour the cooled cream mixture into the egg yolks to combine.

Add the mango mixture and stir by hand with a metal whisk until incorporated. Pour the custard through a fine sieve into a clean bowl, preferably one with a spout, to remove any bits of cooked egg. Pour the custard into 8 (6-ounce) ramekins (fill to about 1/4 inch from the top) and place them in a water bath (see page 6 of the book). Cover the whole pan with aluminum foil.

Put the pan in the oven, set the oven temperature to 300 degrees F, and bake for 30 minutes, or until the custards are set (a knife inserted in the center should come out clean). The center will still look a little loose, but the custards will continue cooking after they are removed from the oven. Carefully remove the baking dish from the oven, lift out the ramekins using tongs, and let them rest for at least 20 minutes. Move them to the refrigerator and chill for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

Just before serving, pour the remaining 3/4 cup (150 grams) sugar over the custards to cover the entire surface. Use a bakers' torch to caramelize the sugar until crisp and golden brown. Serve immediately.


How to Peel a Mango

Cut the mango lengthwise into three pieces by slicing all the way through on either side of the pit. You will end up with 2 dome-shaped pieces with only skin and fruit and 1 oval-shaped piece that is mostly pit. Score one of the dome-shaped pieces with a knife, cutting all the way through the flesh but being careful not to break the skin. If you want long strips of fruit, score only in one direction. If you want diced fruit, score both lengthwise and crosswise.

Press the rounded skin of the mango flat against a cutting board so that the pieces of fruit begin to separate. Carefully run a sharp knife along the underside of the skin, detaching the scored pieces of fruit. Repeat with the other dome-shaped piece. You may also be able to cut a bit of fruit from the top and bottom of the piece with the pit. To make mango puree, puree the flesh in a blender until smooth.


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This page created September 2010